The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: May 1

This week, we recommend No Mow May, cupcakes, coffee and more.

1. Observe No Mow May 


Happy No Mow May! By this point, you’ve probably heard about this environmental campaign seeking to give a hand up to pollinators who are thirsty for early-season nectar. Think of it this way: An un-mowed yard full of flowers we normally think of as weeds are like supermarkets in a season that’s otherwise a food desert for our beleaguered bees. I like No Mow May because it plays into my lawn laziness, but I learned an important lesson last year that you probably don’t want to take the name literally. I was stubbornly (and lazily) literal in 2022 and ended up with a downright jungle in my (very small) backyard that took a whole early June morning to shape back into some semblance of an actual lawn. Most of the dandelions had gone to seed after just a couple of weeks anyway. We No-Mowers were legion last year; it’s pretty easy to tell who’s observing, and many of my neighbors in East Tosa were letting their lawns go feral. Not everyone appreciates this as much as the pollinators, though, and this year the city of Milwaukee is asking No-Mowers to register to go on a green whitelist that gets ahead of any neighbor complaints.

No Mow May 2022; Photo by Chris Drosner

2. Bake a Small Batch of Cupcakes


I wanted cupcakes. But I didn’t want 24 cupcakes, which is what most cake recipes yield. I’ve become more and more enamored of small-batch baking recipes because they eliminate the massive excess of dessert sitting around my house. The small quantity also makes testing the recipe ahead of time easier and more cost effective. If you need just six tender, chocolate-y cupcakes, this Land O Lakes recipe is pretty good – and the person for whom they were made was really happy. Which is all that counts. Make sure you don’t over-bake them. I know my oven runs hot so I set my timer early and took them out as soon as they passed the toothpick-clean test. Rather than the accompanying frosting recipe, I made my own cocoa buttercream, then topped the cakes with a generous application of oh-so-festive sprinkles.  


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3. Start the Day with Stone Creek’s 3 Volcanoes Dark Guatemala Coffee


The worst dreams aren’t nightmares – they’re really good dreams. Hear me out. They’re those beautiful dreams where you’re different, better and something wonderful is happening to you, and as this dream unfolds, you are completely immersed in its fantasy, blissfully unaware that you’re asleep. In this lovely state, you’re struck by an odd sensation, so unusual to your waking self that it’s almost frightening – happiness. But of course, it can’t last. You wake. And when you do, that dream clings to you, and for a few seconds you still feel the remnant of that happiness, but then, brutally, you realize that it was only a dream and you remember your real life, and the despair falls heavy. You mourn the loss of something that never was. You leave your bed hopeless and wretched to start another day, wandering the fog that never ends.

So the point is, I’m not a morning person. But I get through many a morning with Stone Creek Coffee’s 3 Volcanoes dark roast, which is delicious. It’s a strong coffee, no doubt, best enjoyed black, and for me, it’s just the bracing start needed to get the day moving. Plus, the local roaster sells it in cool nostalgic tins that can be refilled with different flavors at any Stone Creek cafe. Highly recommend.

4. Thrift Shop at Divine Consign


So, I love thrifting clothes. It started in high school with impromptu stops at Goodwill with my mom and sister, and my love for it has only grown since. Divine Consign is like the Super Bowl of Southeastern Wisconsin thrifting. Imagine a huge convention-sized room full of racks and racks of clothes (and shoes, purses, jeelry galore!). It’s a shopping dream, and it’s a great way to shop quality secondhand clothes. This time around, it’s at the Waukesha County Expo Center, and the hours are online

5. Check Out “The Milwaukee Show II”


Do you love movies? And do you also love Milwaukee? Then you’ll love program of all locally made shorts at the Milwaukee Film Festival on Tuesday at 7 p.m. If “The Milwaukee Show I” is any indication, there will be some real gems in the bunch. It’s also a nice way to close out the 2023 festival season since Thursday will be the last day of this Milwaukee movie extravaganza.